The awesome Nathaly Agosto Filion has been appointed by Mayor Baraka to the position of Newark’s Chief Sustainability Officer. Big congratulations! We can look forward to exciting and impactful new innovations from this impressive young Latina.
Today on July 7 2016 the City Council of Newark unanimously and historically made into law the first ever Environmental Justice and Cumulative Impacts Ordinance, with their vote showing that Councilpeople value the health and wellbeing of Newark residents over commercial interests.
The law’s passage in a testimony to years of hard work by environmental justice leaders in the city and allies across the state.
Stand by for more info.
08 July 2016 see complete details about the ordinance and its passage here.
The Village Voice reports that Port Authority diesel trucks make, “more than 1.4 million trips a year,” through Newark’s Ironbound radiating asthma and cancer-causing vapors everywhere. The smog is especially thick in the morning hours when students are walking to school.
The Voice quotes Newark Mom Tanisha Garner:
…and a few other locals are conducting a tour of sorts, pointing out where Sandy sent toxic water cascading through the neighborhood after the Passaic overflowed. Alexi Martinez, a 25-year-old student who has lived in the Ironbound his entire life, remarks that many of his friends carry inhalers. It wasn’t until he started working with the Ironbound Community Corporation that he discovered why.
“Learning about our problem here is going to be our best hope at solving it,” Martinez says. “Just going down to the port for the first time a few months ago was mind-blowing for me. There’s just so many trucks idling, so much pollution, trucks just chilling there for hours.”
A truck replacement service that was supposed to upgrade port service trucks to a safer form of combustible fuel caused more problems than it solved and was abandoned soon after getting started in 2010.
Learn about Clean Water Action and the Coalition for Healthy Ports NY NJ’s #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign to create healthier port neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey.
Newark, NJ on 27 April 27 2016 — The City of Newark and Hawthorne Avenue Elementary School students will celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 29 with a tree giveaway. Students will plant trees at the farm and 1000 tree seedlings will be gifted to Newark residents to beautify the city.
|When||Friday, April 29
|When||Hawthorne Hawks Healthy Harvest Farm in the South Ward
446 Hawthorne Avenue (Between Demarest and Dewey Streets, Entrance on Demarest Street
The tree seedling giveaway is part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, which has set a goal to distribute over 500,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents over the next five years. It is a joint effort between the City of Newark, New Jersey State Forest Service, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, Brothers International, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, FedEx and local partners Greater Newark Conservancy and Newark DIG (Doing Infrastructure Green!).
Arbor Day was begun in Nebraska in 1872 by President (and New Jersey native) Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture, J. Sterling Morton. It was part of his effort to encourage forestry and land conservation, and the planting of 1 million trees in that state. Today, unique Arbor Day celebrations are held world and country-wide, each with their own flavor and date but unified by the same theme: planting and preservation of trees and protection of the Earth’s environment.
— NY/NJ Baykeeper (@NYNJBaykeeper) March 4, 2016
After years of investigating safety issues involved with removing Agent Orange and other contaminants from the Newark Bay and lower Passaic River, the EPA has created a comprehensive plan to remove what is logistically feasible and cap the rest at the bottom of the waterway.
The plan includes:
- 3.5 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be removed, bank- to-bank, by dredging the river bottom from Newark Bay to the Belleville/ Newark border.
- This will result in the permanent removal from the river of approximately 13 pounds of highly toxic and persistent dioxin (2,3,7,8- TCDD), 24,000 pounds of mercury, 6,600 pounds of PCBs, and 1,300 pounds of DDT (a pesticide).
Here are highlights of the plan:
View the entire record of decision for the lower eight miles of the Passaic River.
ECJ Green Drinks meets monthly in 3 north Jersey environmental justice cities
Green Drinks Newark 1st Mondays
Mon 02 Nov 2015 | 7-9p
47 Halsey Street, Newark NJ
Green Drinks Hackensack 2nd Mondays
Mon 09 Nov 2015 | 7-9p
Villa de Colombia
12 W. Mercer Street, Hackensack NJ
Parking in restaurant lot or private lot at corner of Mercer & State
Green Drinks Clifton-Paterson (day of the month is not always the same)
Thurs 21 Nov 2015 | 7-9p
429 Crooks Avenue (on the Paterson border), Clifton NJ
Safe street parking
Green Drinks November Discussion Themes
- If your business or non-profit relies on the internet, help to Save the Internet. You don’t want laws that allow traffic to your website to be shut down because bigger companies can pay more for access and lock your traffic out.
- Fight CISA and other unreasonable privacy intrusions at Fight for the Future.
- Our family’s setting up a community garden in Paterson and we can use all kinds of help. How can you help?
- Interested in living in an eco-village? What would you want it to offer?
- The battle for public education is still going on in Newark. Are you ready to help with this fight?
- How can you help bring joy to thousands of Greater Newark and eastern Passaic County residents for Thanksgiving? PACTS’ Newark Thanksgiving wish list items include monetary donations and volunteer opportunities. And you can call Kimi at 201-477-8711 to donate to Paterson and Passaic County residents.
- For Christmas, a Paterson faith based consortium needs vans and drivers to help pick up toys, coats and food. Additional space to store items for the community gifting event held on December 23 or 24 is also needed.
Other green/sustainable activities & events:
Paterson Area for Bernie Sanders
Mon 23 Nov 2015 | 6:30-7p
429 Crooks Avenue (on the Paterson border), Clifton NJ
The Sierra Club comments,
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is putting together the 2015 Energy Master Plan (EMP) which will help determine where we get our energy from in New Jersey. The plan decides New Jersey’s priorities for clean AND dirty energy and can also set limits on how much energy we waste.
Compelling statements from environmental justice (EJ) and environmental groups were made before the 2011 plan was adopted. But community voices were ignored, with operation of existing dirty fossil fuel and incinerators not only continuing unabated, but expanding. A new 655 megawatt natural gas plant was situated in Newark’s already heavily polluted Ironbound neighborhood; and several other dirty fuel facilities were located around the state.
Let’s not allow community demands for clean energy to lose impetus because New Jersey state has recently opted to label as “clean energy” both nuclear energy and fracked natural gas – which are anything but … are also dangerous to the environment and cause health issues too.
Since the facilitators of public hearings do not listen to the community anyway, the EJ community is taking their objections, concerns and demand for real solutions to the street and demanding JUSTICE across the board, including: Energy Justice, Environmental Justice, Climate Justice. Stefan Ali of the ICC writes,
The last time there were public hearings on the Energy Plan, industry was allowed to speak first and concerned residents spoke at the end when the media had left. We want to make our voices heard by protesting and rallying.
The August 11 action will not be about standing around listening to an endless roster of speakers. Instead, there will be activities, performances, music and some fun street puppets as well. Please join in and support #actonclimate!
Please email or phone Molly Greenberg at 973.817.7013 x217 or 218 for additional information.
Should you wish to comment on the New Jersey Energy Master Plan 2015 and the state’s energy future, you can do so in person or electronically. Here are your options:
- Comment in person at one of the three public hearings taking place on August 11, 13 and 17; or
- Submit a public comment electronically through the Sierra Club’s website. Please feel free to edit any information which already appears in the Sierra Club’s form by adding to it or you can entirely replace their wording with your own.
- Send your comment directly to the State of NJ. Written public comments on updates to the 2011 Energy Master Plan can be submitted by close of business on Wednesday, August 24, 2015 to EMPupdate@bpu.state.nj.us
- BPU Hearing Schedule for the NJ Energy Master Plan 2015
- NJ Spotlight article looks at some issues the BPU needs community feedback on
- Download English & Spanish language fliers for the August 11 rally
On Friday, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will join community members at Newark, New Jersey’s Ironbound Neighborhood Family Success Center (East) to launch a new community air monitor, a first of its kind citizen science project. Administrator McCarthy will discuss the agency’s work on air quality and how citizen science plays an important role in scientific analysis.
Fri 13 March 2015 @ 10:15 am
Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC)
Family Success Center – East
29 Cortland Street
Newark, NJ 07105
In 2010, A collaboration between Drew University and the ICC used GIS mapping technology to prove the need for air quality control in Newark. With support from an EPA CARE grant, student Zoe Crum mapped data the ICC helped gather to show, “industrial chemical emissions, Brownfield sites, and Superfund sites in conjunction with demographic analyses for the Ironbound.”
Twenty-five percent of Newark children suffer from asthma, three times the state average, and asthma accounts for the leading cause of absenteeism for Newark’s school age children. Accurate and timely information on air pollution is critical to protecting public health. With data in hand, residents have a better chance of taking effective action to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
The granting of Hess’s permit to create a new power plant in Newark depended on agreements to limit local air pollution. In return for a tall smoke stack and a decrease in the amount of toxins that make up the cocktail of fuel the plant will burn, the city granted tax abatements to Hess while New Jersey State guaranteed a locked-in a low price for all the gas required to fuel the plant – pledging that NJ taxpayers would foot the bill whenever gas prices were higher than Hess’ guaranteed low rate. But the entire agreement has unravelled thanks to corporate skullduggery. Without serious legal intervention, it looks like plant owners will re-neg on protections they pledged to put in place – and intend to instead rake in huge profits at the expense of local air quality. In effect, Newark’s innocent children and vulnerable adult residents will be made to pay with their lives for financial gain that others will enjoy.
Hess sold the Newark Energy Center (aka NEC, previously named the HESS Plant) to an energy investment company, which immediately petitioned the DEP to make changes in the building plan that was originally approved in May 2012. NEC developers have applied for two new secret, “emergency” building permits. But the actual emergency is that these changes may result in a SIGNIFICANT increase to local air pollution. With one in four Newark residents already suffering from asthma, how much more pollution can be added to city air without dire consequences?
NEC owners plan to change their smoke stacks’ heights and diameters, causing more concentrated emissions to be released; and to increase by 400% the quantity of toxic chemicals over what was originally agreed upon. They also want to use city drinking water as its main water source instead of gray water, which the original plans call for.
And by the way, no emergency protocols have yet been developed for this site, although accidents are common at sites using the type of chemicals NEC is threatening to use. In fact, the very same chemicals have caused explosions before in Newark, itself.
Speak out for Clean Air!
Together, Newark and allies can make sure the New Jersey DEP protects residents’ health, community, and environment. Here’s how:
- Attend the Public Hearing on HESS/NEC “emergency” application
Tuesday February 3 2015 @ 7pm
Newark City Hall
920 Broad Street, Newark, NJ
- Submit a public comment to the DEP. Learn how at the DEP website, where you can also see the permit requests for the changes NEC wants to make.
- For more information and coaching on how to submit a public comment, contact Molly Greenberg ICC Environmental Programs Coordinator 973-817-7013 x215 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Please share these flyers with your neighbors!
Green Drinks is about Environmental Justice and Sustainability, not green colored drinks – Green Drinks is just our name! We usually meet monthly in three north Jersey Environmental Justice (EJ) cities. Our informal gatherings are held in friendly spaces so people can come together over food and chat about the green and sustainable issues relevant to our lives and communities.
But, this is Mix It Up March! Instead of holding to our usual Green Drinks schedule this month, we’re going visiting … Take a look at our schedule below.
Green Drinks/Issues in 3 EJ cities every month
Green Drinks Newark 1st Mondays | 7-9pm
Mon 03 Mar 2014 7-9pm
This month, Green Drinks be at the Newark Mayoral Candidates Forum for the “Good Jobs, Healthy Neighborhoods, & Clean Environment” debate, which is being co-sponsored by Clean Water Action, the Coalition for Healthy Ports and other organizations. This is an important topic, as Newark residents suffer the brutal environmental impact of ports that produce billions in revenue but don’t share locally. Free and open to the public.
Green Drinks Hackensack 2nd Mondays | 7-9pm
Mon 10 Mar 2014 7-9pm
This month, Green Drinks will be at Ramapo College for a panel discussion on the impact of local farms, the creation of a sustainable food system and to discuss and celebrate the creation of the Bergen County Education Farm at Saddle River County Park in Fairlawn, New Jersey. Free and open to the public, but your RSVP is requested.
Green Drinks Clifton-Paterson (this location has no fixed date or spot for now)
TBA (Check back here for this month’s date) | 7-9pm
429 Crooks Avenue, Clifton NJ (on the Paterson border)
Safe street parking
Discussion themes this month
- If your business or non-profit relies on the internet, you will definitely want to help Save the Internet before your internet service provider shuts down access to your website.
- How does Big Money in general elections impact the environment? We’ve partnered with Represent.Us in a campaign to get Big Money out of politics and end corporate domination of general elections!
- Time to start your seeds for this year’s crops. Where and what are you going to grow?
- How can we make environmental justice communities healthier through green jobs and pollution controls?
- Preventing school closures in Newark and other NJ EJ communities.
Other green/sustainable activities & events
People’s Organization for Progress (POP) meets weekly in Newark
The People’s Organization for Progress meets every Thursday | 6:30pm
Abyssinian Baptist Church
224 West Kinney Street, Newark NJ
Sign to stop elephant slaughter
More than 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year for their tusks, which are used to make ivory trinkets and carvings, which are sold in black markets around the world, including in the US. But it’s important to stop this illegal trade. There may be only 250,000 elephants left in the wild. Sign to show you care!